Zmanda Documentation > If You are New to Amanda

If You are New to Amanda


Amanda: Open Source Backup

  • Amanda is the world's most popular open source backup software. Amanda allows System Administrators to set up a single backup server to back up multiple hosts to a tape- or disk-based storage system.
  • Amanda uses native dump and/or GNU tar facilities and can back up a large number of workstations and servers running various versions of Linux, Unix or Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Benefits of Using Amanda

  • Amanda allows users to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple Linux, UNIX, Mac OS-X and Windows hosts to a very large selection of tape, disk, and optical devices including tape libraries, auto changers, optical jukeboxes, RAID arrays, NAS devices and many others.

Fig.1 shows a typical Amanda network. Fig. 1 Typical Amanda set up

Uses Native Drivers

  • One of the big advantages of Amanda over all other backup software is that Amanda does not use any proprietary data formats.
  • Amanda uses standard operating system utilities such as dump and tar, or open source utilities available in many operating systems such as GNUtar, smbtar and Schily tar, and uses the same archive format on the media.
  • Since standard utilities are used, users can be confident that they will always be available.
  • Another advantage of using standard utilities is that in case of disaster recovery or any other emergency, users can recover their data even if Amanda is not available.

Scheduling: Consistent Backup Window

  • Amanda's unique approach to scheduling optimizes load balancing of backups.
  • Instead of giving Amanda the exact instruction "Do a full backup every Sunday for clients A, B, and C and full backups on Wednesday for clients D, E, and F, and incremental backups all other times", users just set up a few ground rules that control Amanda scheduling.
  • For example, users might provide a directive to Amanda to "Do at least one full backup within a 7 day period".
  • Amanda then finds an optimal combination of full and incremental backups from all clients to make the total amount of backup data per backup run as small as possible and consistent from one backup run to another.
  • Additionally, it will ensure that full backup of all data is done at least once during 7 days.

Virtual Tape Support

  • Amanda provides the ability to use disk as the target media for backup.
  • Dedicated directories are used as virtual tapes.
  • Backup administrators can draw on their familiarity with a tape based environment, without the challenges of managing tape drives.

Amanda Documentation

  • Amanda documentation is maintained on the Amanda Wiki.